Scottish Labour have announced a social media initiative to engage with youths and young adults via the social network Twitter by seeking tweets about #myfuturescotland.

“On Saturday 17 January Scottish Labour launches #MyFutureScotland, an engagement campaign to put the ideas and aspirations of young people at the heart of Scottish Labour’s plan for the next generation.

We are looking for new ideas, and really want to hear from young people across Scotland as part of this campaign”. 1

This has included articles published in local media encouraging others to join this debate. However, social media is a tool that can be used by anyone so results cannot often be controlled (except for paid astorturfing 2 campaigns).

Scottish Labour leader; Jim Murphy tweeted the success of the hashtag trending on twitter.

Good to see #MyFutureScotland trending thanks to @melanie_ward
Here’s what it’s about.
http://t.co/2deryedBRd

— Jim Murphy (@jimmurphymp) January 17, 2015

However, it appears that Jim Murphy was unaware of why the hashtag was trending and the internet memes 3 that it has now created;

Twitter Meme

Twitter Meme

Learning the hard way, tweets have been predominantly about how #myfuturescotland will not contain Scotiish Labour, Conservatives, or the Liberal Democrats, with tweets urging voters to join the Scottish National Party, or the Scottish Socialist Party, or the Scottish Green Party. Other tweets have been about stopping fracking in Scotland, the removal of trident and the end austerity measures.

The other aspect of this hashtag trend in Scotland is that critics feel there has been no meaningful response to their concerns and questions, which gives the impression that Scottish Labour are not listening, which has led some to believe that the hashtag #myfuturescotland was nothing more than a marketing exercise with no meaningful engagement.

As a marketing exercise, this has been a fail unless in the background, Scottish Labour activists are working to collect the feedback to help formulate future policy for the Scottish Labour party, which given the public feedback should mean a progressive policy of ending austerity measures, stopping fracking in Scotland, removing trident from Scotland, reducing expenses claims, and making politicians more accountable for their actions with greater improved transparency in politics. Time will only tell.

References

  1. Scottish Labour – My Future Scotland – http://www.scottishlabour.org.uk/blog/entry/my-future-scotland
  2. Wikipedia – Astroturfing – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing
  3. Wikipedia – Internet Memes – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_meme
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